When you think of something that keeps the world moving, the first word that comes to mind is usually money. As the old adage goes, that’s true, but in contemporary society, the answer may be a little different! A surprisingly prominent force in the global economy is, in fact, oil. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the global economy, the oil industry has been thriving for more than a century, and provides nearly 10 million jobs in the United States alone. In a global context, the scale of the oil industry is simply astounding.
Oil drilling is a process that takes a lot of heavy duty equipment. In order to get to the oil buried within the surface of the earth, oil well pumps and production rigs must be placed with precision to extract the maximum amount of the natural resource from the earth. This process is done on a massive scale, so reliability of equipment is crucial to the efficiency of the process and the safety of the men and women working. While there is a wealth of oil in some places, the process of locating and retrieving it is nothing like the giant spouts of oil seem in the movies.
Regardless of the machinery, geologists are responsible for locating sufficient sources of oil. They have an extensive knowledge of the earth, and using the right technology, can lead oil companies to reservoirs of the natural resource. With all of the crude oil found and drilled, there are enough reserves to meet almost 54 years of global oil production.
In order to actually retrieve oil from the earth, a lot of heavy duty equipment is required. Often, materials and machinery must be brought in by helicopter or by barge, because oil is commonly found under the ocean. Oil rigs on the water must have all of the equipment (oil well pumps, drills, piping, etc.) moved out and then back again, which is part of the reason that all of the machinery has to be top notch. Offshore oil rigs have drilled as deep as 7,500 feet under water, and more than 200 miles from any land. Not only does their machinery have to make the journey to the production rigs, it has to be able to function without a glitch to retrieve oil.
The goal of the mechanics involved in drilling for oil is to prevent things like oil spills and technical failure. The men and women working must be safe, skilled, and working with top notch machinery to get the resources that you use in your everyday life! Learning about oil well pumps and drills may not be the most exciting, but these machines make our way of life possible in many ways, don’t forget it!